Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 2014 E250 Bluetec 4-Matic, 1983 240D 4-Speed
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
I may have already related this story, but here it goes, possibly again.
I was in Florence working on a contract with an oil company at Nuovo-Pignone's facility. We were staying in the center of town and going out to eat with one of the oil company executives. He had a company American Express Card that the local restaurant, who favored Visa but said they took AMEX, turned down saying the card had been rejected when they tried to use it. The individual had another, personal AMEX card that he tried and then made a point of telling me and a few others at the table that would also be rejected, and that he would offer a VISA card once the waiter came back. Sure enough, the second AMEX was rejected. When the VISA card was offered the individual asked why they didn't just tell him they didn't want to take AMEX cards. The VISA card went through, and, in a huge emotional display of saving face, the waiter gave us all a free shot of Grappa from a bottle about 4 ft tall. Well, I thought the others were drinking the Grappa so I gulped mine down. I later found out no one touched theirs, other than to pour it into the water glass.
Ever have Grappa? Well, let me tell you, Grappa is pretty bad shit to begin with, and free Grappa is nearly deadly. It was like one part rubbing alcohol and two parts Diesel fuel.
We left the restaurant and were walking back to the center of the town. The narrow sidewalks were very crowded and as we approached a light and started to wait to cross the road, I let out a truly horrible belch. Not loud, just vile. I actually gagged when the wind blew it back in my face, and half a dozen other pedestrians became agitated and turned green.
After that I became a discriminating Grappa drinker. I offered to every Italian offering me Grappa an opportunity to confess to a national scam - something about getting a tax refund for every shot of Grappa they get an unsuspecting American to drink. Eventually they began to offer Grappa that was not really bad. Could have been that burp though. I am sure the strangers on the sidewalk that evening tell the same story to their families and friends, just from the perspective of being the innocent bystander assaulted by the free Grappa burp.